A year of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
This year, the Cotswolds Conservation Board will celebrate with events, roadshows, tours, workshops and a festival to mark the occasion.
Events start from Saturday 19 March in Bath with the first of six AONB roadshows touring the Cotswolds. Saturday’s roadshow takes place outside Bath Abbey - the start of the Cotswold Way National Trail and the start line of the Golden Anniversary Walk by Liz Eyre the Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The Mayor of Bath, Councillor William Sandry will join Liz for some of the first stretch of the walk. Liz will be walking the length of the 102 mile trail to Chipping Camden during the course of the year. Along the way she will be joined by local authority leaders, MPs, walkers and community groups.
Liz Eyre said: “I’m delighted to be taking on the challenge to walk the Cotswold Way to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cotswolds AONB. The trail covers over 100 miles through the AONB with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment, and journeys through picturesque villages. I’m looking forward to be joined on the walk by other walkers – whether they are out for a short half hour stroll or a day’s hike - and meeting a huge number of interesting people along the way.”
Bath – 19 March, Bradford-on-Avon – 23 March, Broadway – 5 April and Painswick Rococo Gardens – 19 April.
Other events taking place this year include;
Creative Weekend Courses - 3 day course in painting and drawing, photography or weaving with each day in a different stunning location
· Golden Guided Tours – minibus tours of the AONB by Go Cotswolds
· The Cotswolds Touring Memory Café
· The Cotswolds Living Landscape Festival at Lodge Park
· Cotswolds Inspired Art Exhibition
As part of the golden anniversary celebrations two renowned Cotswolds businesses will be joining in with their own special contributions.
Hook Norton Brewery will be reprising the ‘Cotswold Lion’ ale which they originally brewed for the 40th anniversary in 2006 while the Cotswold Distillery will be badging a limited edition of their classic juniper-led gin, produced at Stourton especially for the anniversary year. A contribution from the sale of both products throughout the year will be given to the Cotswolds Conservation Board to further its important conservation work within the AONB.
A new book featuring stunning pictures that tell the living story of the Cotswold landscapes will be a highlight of this year’s celebrations. The book will be available to purchase from late spring.
“So many valuable people – farmers, tourism providers, master craftsmen, volunteers – are involved in keeping the Cotswolds thriving as a place to live, work, relax and visit,” says Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board. “The 50th anniversary gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their efforts and reflect on what makes the landscape so special. All are welcome to help mark the occasion in whatever way they wish and join the variety of celebrations.”
For more information about all the events taking place please visit www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/50
Photo opportunity with Liz Eyre and walkers on the 50th Anniversary Walk
Saturday 19 March 2016
10:15am – Outside Bath Abbey
12:15pm – Cotswold Way - Prospect Stile, near Bath Racecourse & Conference Centre (please ring for further details)
Chris Brant, Communications Officer
Tel: 01451 862003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotswolds Conservation Board, Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH
Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
Notes to editors:
· The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape. www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
· The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
· The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
· Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk